Discharging Education-Related Debt in Bankruptcy: Reinterpreting Section 523(a)(8) and Brunner

Educational Loan Types; Recent Decisions; Partial Discharge; Specialized Treatment in Chapters 7, 11, and 13

A live 90-minute CLE video webinar with interactive Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, July 22, 2022

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will guide debtor's counsel and counsel attempting to collect student loan debt through the changing landscape of how student loan obligations may and are being discharged in bankruptcy more often. The program will discuss new ways that Bankruptcy Code 523(a)a)(8) is being interpreted at the circuit court level, the treatment of loans related to different categories of educational expenses, renewed challenges to the Brunner test, partial discharge of student loan debt, and specialized treatment of student loan debt in Chapter 7, Chapter 11, including Subchapter V, and Chapter 13.


How some or all student loans and expenses are automatically discharged or can be declared dischargeable in bankruptcy is more complicated than ever. The exception to discharge in Section 523(a)(8) refers to individual debtors, not consumer debtors, and is relevant to increasing numbers of Subchapter V cases.

Since 2019, three circuit courts have held that Bankruptcy Code Section 523(a)(8) does not apply to many types of education-related debts. In a separate issue, some lower courts have flatly rejected the Brunner approach to "undue hardship" as a judicial creation not entitled to unchallenged deference.

In related matters, borrowers and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection have sued many of the investment trusts who assert ownership of the student debt, their servicers, and debt collectors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and similar statutes. Whether and how any such counterclaims could be used in bankruptcy or outside of bankruptcy is a developing strategy.

Listen as our authoritative panel of bankruptcy practitioners provides practical guidance to counsel for both borrowers and creditors on the intricacies of student loan debt in bankruptcy.



  1. Educational loans under the Bankruptcy Code
  2. Undue hardship discharge
  3. Administrative discharge as an alternative
  4. Assertion of counterclaims
  5. Pending class actions
  6. Practical strategies and considerations


The panel will review these and other critical issues:

  • What is the difference between "qualified education loans," "qualified higher education expenses" and "cost of attendance"?
  • What defenses exist to claims that student loans are nondischargeable?
  • What is the relationship between non-dischargeability and statute of limitations defense?
  • Must the debtor initiate an adversary proceeding in order to assert in subsequent collection actions that the debt was discharged?


Carpinello, George
George F. Carpinello

Boies Schiller Flexner

Mr. Carpinello has extensive experience litigating cases in federal, state, and bankruptcy courts throughout the United...  |  Read More

Smith, Austin
Austin C. Smith

Smith Law Group

Mr. Smith began his career defending corporations and individuals against a variety of statutory and common law claims,...  |  Read More

Attend on August 10

Early Discount (through 07/22/22)

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Early Discount (through 07/22/22)

You may pre-order a recording to listen at your convenience. Recordings are available 48 hours after the webinar. Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

To find out which recorded format will provide the best CLE option, select your state:

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